Scouts Honor

Grace and peace to the brethren in Christ Jesus, and greetings to my brothers and sisters in Adam.

Richard Turley poses with his Scouting uniform on in an old picture taken in the 1980s.

I came across this incredibly sad story about a pedophile scout master with Boy Scouts Canada, who, despite being reported numerous times to the leadership for molesting young boys, was allowed to continued to maintain his position and continue to have access to boys.  You can find the original story here.

I will let you read this very troubling story for yourself.

Scouts failed to stop sexual predator: CBC investigation

Pedophile moved from troop to troop in B.C., California.

Boy Scouts of America leaders knew for years about incidents involving a Canadian pedophile who preyed on boys in the U.S. but failed to stop him as he moved back to Canada, where he continued his abuse.

The organization sometimes even helped him go undetected by authorities, an investigation by CBC-TV’s The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times has found.

Scouts Canada learned of his inappropriate behaviour in the 1980s and kicked him out, but nearly a decade passed before police charged him with crimes.

Throughout the 1970s and ’80s, Richard Turley was involved with the Scouts across California and British Columbia, molesting at least eight scouts.

“It was easy,” the 58-year-old, who now lives in Alberta, says about how he used scouting to target his victims. “Kids were easily accessible.”

The CBC investigation, which can be seen in full Friday night on The Fifth Estate, catalogued nearly 80 cases in Canada, dating from the 1950s, where either active or former scout leaders committed crimes ranging from sexual assault to possession of child pornography. More than 300 children were abused by leaders while they were active in the movement.

Brazen kidnapping

In 1975, Turley did what he describes as the “craziest, stupid, bizarre thing” he would ever do. California newspaper headlines from 1975 dubbed it a “wild abduction tale.”  In a stolen single-engine Cessna, Turley kidnapped Ed Iris, an 11-year-old Nova Scotia boy living in La Puente, Calif., whom Turley had met while visiting a local scout troop.

A day earlier, he’d shown up at Iris’s house, telling Ed’s mother he was “one of Canada’s top scouts leaders” and asking if he could show the boy around town.  “He had badges all over the place,” says Iris, now 47 and living in Ontario. “He had his Canadian scouting book. It was impressive to a kid.”

Turley took the boy on a fun-filled day in the San Diego area. That night, the two slept in a car inside Turley’s double sleeping bag covered in scouts merit patches, said Iris. Turley later admitted to molesting the boy, though Iris says he slept through it.  In the morning, Turley stole a Cessna at a regional airport, vowing to take Ed back to Canada. With the plane low on fuel, though, Turley was soon forced to land.  Turley, then 21, was arrested and later pleaded guilty to child stealing. At trial, a judge committed him to a state hospital as a “mentally disordered sex offender.”

Police files obtained by The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times show that Boy Scouts of America knew about the incident because they helped officers search for Iris and Turley.  Though the Boy Scouts of America have a decades-old practice of creating “confidential files” recording individuals barred from the group for sex abuse allegations — a system aimed at preventing pedophiles from hopping from troop to troop — it appears no file was created on Turley at that time.

Put on list

In November 1976, 18 months after Turley’s arrival at the Patton State Hospital, he was deemed well enough to be released. The judge ordered him to return to Canada and report for probation if he re-entered the U.S.  Within a year, Turley returned to Southern California to work at a Boy Scout camp near San Diego, an hour’s drive from the hospital. He spent the next three summers working for the camp.

‘Hopefully, he went back to Canada and that was their problem.’—Former Scout executive Buford Hill

On the last day of camp in July 1979, Turley arranged to stay an extra night with three boys from the Orange County troop. All three were molested that night, according to a confidential file later created by the Boy Scouts of America.  The next morning, one boy told his father, a scoutmaster, about the abuse.

The camp director, John LaBare, confronted Turley and “he readily admitted what he had done, expressed concern for his actions, immediately packed and returned to Canada,” according to a letter in Turley’s U.S. “perversion file.” The camp, meanwhile, was told Turley had returned home due to family problems.  Behind the scenes, camp officials requested that the Boy Scouts of America’s Texas-based national office create a “confidential file,” informally known as a “perversion file,” on Turley.

“The parents of the three boys agreed not to press charges if he would leave, but are quite prepared to do so if they hear of his involvement with scouting,” Scouts executive Buford Hill wrote.

Hill told the Los Angeles Times that he was following recommendations of the Boy Scouts of America at the time.  “I don’t remember what we decided, other than we didn’t want this person on our staff,” Hill said. “Hopefully, he went back to Canada and that was their problem.”

In a written statement to the Los Angeles Times, Boy Scouts of America stated that within 25 hours of learning of Turley’s conduct, they expelled him.  “In the 30 years since then, the BSA has continued to enhance its youth protection efforts as society has increased its understanding of the dangers children face,” wrote spokesman Deron Smith.

When Turley was shown the 1979 confidential U.S. file created by the Scouts on him, however, he shook his head in amazement that officials had not contacted police.  “That probably would have put a stop to me years and years ago,” said Turley in an interview at an Alberta motel where he works as a manager and handyman.  “And yet I went back to the Scouts again and again as a leader and offended against the boys until they came forward.”

Others were shocked Turley even made it into the Scouts after his kidnapping conviction and commitment as a sex offender.  “He should have never been there in the first place,” the scoutmaster whose son was allegedly molested by Turley told the Los Angeles Times.

Back in Canada

Though The Fifth Estate found documents showing that Scouts Canada and its American counterpart have traded information about pedophiles banned from their organizations, it appears the two did not share information about Turley.  By August of 1979, Turley had returned to the Victoria area, and within a few years, he’d begun leading a local scouts troop.

Court records show that Turley took scouts on camping trips once or twice a month, often luring boys to his tent by offering warmth or comfort. He used skinny-dipping as a pretense to molest boys and plied them with alcohol.

In his Victoria home, stocked with ice cream, candy, alcohol and porn, he entertained an endless number of boys, including scouts.

‘I absolutely wish now that I had thought about going to police rather than Scout House.’—Scouting supervisor Jean Buydens

“He had an Atari and worked for a candy company and his cupboard was full of candy,” said Jason Davies, one of his victims. “This is where we wanted to go after Scouts.”  While a Scouts Canada leader, Turley also organized trips to the U.S. with his troop and recalls filing paperwork with the Boy Scouts of America to have the visits approved.

Jean Buydens, a scouting supervisor, recalls hearing whispers about parties where Turley offered boys beer and camp outings where he shared tents with boys.  “I was very suspicious of that,” says Buydens, adding she passed on what she heard.

The Fifth Estate spoke to parents, victims and Scouts executives familiar with Turley and found no evidence executives called in the police to investigate. Turley says he was never contacted by police at that time. Scouts Canada said it won’t comment on specific cases. An assistant scoutmaster had also complained about Turley sharing his tent with boys, but the meddling assistant was moved to another troop, CBC News has learned.

As rumours persisted in the mid-1980s, Scout House, the regional headquarters, asked Turley to resign. Scouts Canada added him to a “confidential list,” sources say. The exact date is unknown.  “It should have been handled differently,” says Buydens. “I absolutely wish now that I had thought about going to police rather than Scout House, but I thought talking to Scout House would be enough.”

Canadian conviction

In 1988, Turley sexually assaulted a child at a swimming pool. He was sentenced to 30 days in jail and banned from associating with youth groups such as Scouts, YMCA and the Little League.  It was not until 1995 that police began their first large-scale investigation into Turley – 16 years after the Boy Scouts of America created a “perversion file” and nearly a decade after its Canadian counterpart put him on their “confidential list.”

In the end, it was not the Scouts organization that informed Saanich, B.C., police, but rather a suspicious girlfriend.  Turley was convicted in 1996 of sexually abusing four boys, three of whom were scouts, but later admitted to having at least a dozen victims.

First Victim:

In 1971 at age 18, Turley began more than a year of molestation with his first known victim, nine-year-old Joey Day.  Turley had moved from Toronto to Victoria as a member of the Canadian military, and had befriended Day’s mother.  He offered to take Joey to cub scout meetings, but instead Turley often took the boy to his apartment.  “He fed me alcohol and I believe he was drugging me,” said Day. “I would wake up and I’d be naked in his bed.”

During an undercover sting, Turley later admitted to an officer that being involved with the Scouts organization was a “good way to recruit young boys.”  Turley served five years in prison and seven years of long-term supervised parole, which he completed in 2009.When The Fifth Estate and the Los Angeles Times tracked him down in Alberta earlier this year, Turley said his sexual impulses are now under control thanks to an intense sex-offender program he underwent.

He’s no longer that “monster” moving from “troop to troop picking out people who I thought would be easy to offend against,” he said. “Rick Turley today is a caring loving person who just wants to stay below the radar.”  But he added that he believes the very nature of Scouts made it an easy place to find targets.  “If I look back at my own self, the availability, the trust that was involved with the parents at the time,” said Turley. “I was … the nice guy, who wanted to do everything.”

Screening process

Much in Scouts has changed since the 1970s and 1980s when Turley used the movement to find his victims.  Since 1997, Scouts Canada has required police record checks, reference checks and a special screening interview for all adult volunteers and staff.

The organization’s policies dictates that individuals accused of any sexual abuse are immediately suspended and then investigated, with information passed along to police and child protection authorities.  Scouts Canada also has a stringent “two-deep rule” requiring that two fully screened, registered leaders be present with youth at all times.

Turley recalls always having adult leaders present on his Scouts outings. “It didn’t stop anything,” he says.  Seattle-based lawyer Tim Kosnoff, who has viewed the U.S. “perversion files,” says historically the U.S. Boy Scouts “routinely” chose not to notify police when aware of child molesters, instead noting them in their own secret files.

Despite all the changes made to the Scouts organization, Turley maintains that “Scouting is still a flawed movement.”  “If I was a parent, I would never put my kids in Scouts.”

***********************************END STORY********************************

Please tell me how this man can “steal” an airplane?  How often does that happen?


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6 Responses to Scouts Honor

  1. Shawn says:

    Wow, How unfortunate. It is sad to think that such animals are becoming more apparent. Graham James in hockey, now this creep in scouts.

    As a coach, leader and parent, I enjoy being involved to enjoy what these great organizations offer, not to be able to prey on unsuspecting, fragile beings.

    These actions by these certain sick people make it much worse for everyone else.

    If these actions continue, these organizations will soon dissappear.

    • No doubt, Shawn. It’s getting to the point now that practically every week there is a revelation of child abuse by someone in a position of trust in a trusted institution.

      Penn State, for example, is up to their necks in scandal because of the defensive coach who has been charged with sexually abusing several young boys over a ten-year period. And like the Scouts, it was known that this man was a homosexual predator, but nothing was done about it, and the man was allowed to continue in his position and have access to young boys.

      Incidents such as these are increasing at an alarming rate. Parents need to start paying attention and realize that the sodomites have designs on our children. The only way to stop this is to stop letting others do our parenting, and be good parents ourselves so that our children will believe us when we tell them who to watch out for. The sodomites understand all too well that most parents are horribly flawed and have lost the trust of their children. Others are too busy to care. So, the sodomites present themselves as the perfect citizens: more understanding, more loving, and more together than we. Most children will listen to their teachers quicker than they will listen to their parents.

      If we would do our jobs as parents and love our children and teach them right from wrong from a biblical perspective, and walk the walk rather than tell our children “Do as I say, not as I do,” then our children would trust our judgment and learn from us how to discern when someone is not quite right. But if we are not living right and thus don’t have the discernment ourselves, or have lost the trust of our children, how can we ever teach them? This ought not to be.

      Moreover, parents have got to stop being politically correct. Homosexuality is a perverted sin and an offense to God and a menace to society, and we have got to put ourselves in the position in our children’s lives to be able to tell them this, without them thinking that we’re judgmental and bigoted. The only way to do this is to bring them up on the Word of God and live it ourselves so they we don’t compromise our authority as parents.

  2. Jamie says:

    I am so very disappointed that a christian can be so ignorant. The actions of one man have caused you to paint all of us as pedofiles that you somehow have to protect your children from. I do hope you don’t allow your children to attend church or become altar boys/girls as well, given the evidence of the last 30 years they are far more likely to run into a pedofile in church than in scouting.

    • Jamie, I’m going to give you that one. It is going on in a lot more places than the Scouts. I should not have singled them out. What I meant to say was that we as parents need to keep an eye on our children and not trust them to just anyone. I will change my remark to reflect that.

  3. Paul says:

    I feel sorry for your son, that you will not allow him to participate in such a wonderful experience. Two Deep Leadership means more than just having 2 adults at a camp for example. It means never being alone with the youth, you always have at least one other adult with you at all times, whether in your meeting hall, on a field trip, a hike or any activity, PERIOD. Any leader not following this policy should be reported immediately. Thank you for painting all leaders with the same brush.

    Your in Christ,

    Paul, 15yr Scout Leader, and father of 2 Rovers and a Venturer, who all started at the age of 5 in Beavers.

    • Thank you, Paul, for your comment. Two Deep Leadership is a nice attempt to rectify a spiritual problem, but it is inherently flawed. What, for example, do you do when both leaders with a particular child are pedophiles? I’m not trying to shoot holes in the program, Paul. You seem to be a responsible, moral person, and you like the program so much that you have become personally involved by becoming a Scout Leader yourself, and for that I applaud you. Unfortunately, there are a growing number of men who are not made of the same moral stuff that you are, and those men are destroying what began as an outstanding institution.

      Incidents of pedophilia have increased exponentially in the last few years, and there seems to be no end in sight. These depraved people have designs on our children and have stated this openly. Get the booklet, Hot Topics, by Jack Chick for some sobering statistics. One only need look to the story of Lot in Genesis and the sojourner and his concubine in Judges 19 to see that sodomites are depraved people. Did you notice that two of the four men who had been molested by Turley were effeminate? This is how they multiply. It is a known fact that many who are molested become molesters themselves, as even Turley was. This is what concerns me.

      I know that those who commit these heinous assaults on our children don’t represent the whole of scouting; unfortunately, they get a lot more press than individuals like yourself.

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